In 1978, at a little over 40 years of age, when I first adventured into the fascinating world of aviation via the Aero Club Torino, I would never have imagined that my passion for this sport would have also kindled an enormous interest in the history of aviation, and in particular that of Turin, which through its industry and its protagonists had played a major role in the industrial evolution of the city and in the birth of Italian aviation.
Curiosity spurred me to investigate the origins of this sector, discover the events and above all, find out about the main protagonists responsible for its development. In parallel, I sought to reconstruct the story of the Aero Club Torino. After having read the few publication on this theme which I could find, as well as the available documentation, I interviewed all the elder members, whose memories were of immense help, and slowly began to accumulate a collection of pertinent photographs.
As often happens, I also noted that in general, even those who worked at the airfield knew little of its history. Events that had occurred and the people who had contributed to them with passion, intelligence and ingenuity in the development of aviation were rarely given the credit they so amply merited.
I believe that it is both our duty and in our interest to never forget the significant contributions made by these protagonists of aviation, recalling the inventions, the daring flights and tests which took place in the early years of the last Century, the continuously evolving machinery, the industries which emerged, particularly in our area, and the fascinating story of those who participated in the life of the Aero Club Torino.
I believe that it is useful to bring together in this volume all information which I have been able to collect, in order to share with the reader those interests and emotions which I discovered during my research. Thanks to a deeper understanding of the past, we create the foundations to make our passion for flight ever more interesting, even for those who practice it merely as a sport.
The beginnings of the Aero Club of Turin are almost coincident with the beginnings of aviation in Italy. This is why I have been unable to narrate the Club’s origins without covering, at least in broad terms, the scenario which underlay its evolution, particularly in the early years of its more than a hundred years of activity, e.g. the genesis of the Torinese aircraft industry (from 1909 until the end of the Great War) and the creation of the two airfields on which the Aero Club of Turin has always conducted its activities: Mirafiori (from 1911 to the end of WW II) and Torino-Aeritalia (from the 1950’s until the present).
I would like to imagine that this volume, despite not being exhaustive, might contribute to a historical revaluation of Turin aviation, possibly filling in some of the gaps and providing answers to those of today, like myself at the time, who are entering the world of aviation.